Joint proposal with Liberty Mutual should be decided on with next two weeks

Anglo Irish Bank and American insurer Liberty Mutual are hoping to be given the Irish government's approval to buy Quinn Insurance by the end of next week.

The National Treasury Management Agency, which looks after the state’s banking interests, has been mulling over Anglo’s plan to take over the stricken insurer for more than a week.

Liberty Mutual would stump up a “significant” portion of the €600m (£370m) investment to help bring Quinn's reserves back to regulatory requirements.

Their bid is believed to be one of the last two or three under consideration by Quinn’s administrators and its adviser Macquarie. A decision is expected within a fortnight.

Anglo believes that taking over the company is the best way to secure repayment of a €2.8bn debt pile owed by the family of founder Sean Quinn and his family.